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Barracuda Web Security Gateway

Web Use Categories

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The Barracuda Web Security Gateway URL filtering engine uses one of the most extensive content definition databases, covering some of the highest risk websites on the Internet.

WCS is a Barracuda Networks website categorization service that organizes domains into content categories (subcategories) which are grouped below by supercategories. When you create rules that block categories of websites, you can choose a supercategory to block, or you can drill down and block websites at the subcategory level.  

WCS provides very granular categorization so that you can create fine-grained browsing policies for content, and create granular reports on user browsing activity.

Super Categories Categories Description
Adult Material    
  Adult Magazines or News Sites containing sexually explicit content in an image based or textual form. Any other form of adult/sexually oriented material is also listed
  Adult Search or Links

Adult-related search engines, links, rankings, or portal sites.

  Adult Porn

Sites containing sexually explicit content in an image-based or textual form. Any other form of adult/sexually-oriented material is also listed here.

  Dating Sites that enable users to meet and interact with each other for the purposes of dating or making friends.

Sites containing sexually explicit content in an image-based. Any other form of adult/sexually oriented material is also listed here.

  Nudity Sites containing bare images of the human body which are not suggestive or explicit.
  Sexual Expression(text) Sites that contains sexually suggestive, explicit or erotic content.
  Sexual Services Sex and sexually related information such as adult goods or merchandise, adult videos, adult game software, love hotels, brothels, escort services, models, etc. 
  Swimsuits & Lingerie Sites containing revealing images such as swimsuits and modeling, but not nudity.
Adult Recreation Or Illegal    
  Gambling in General All online and offline gambling, and sites that promote gambling skills and practice.
  Lottery Information related to lotteries issued by public institutions, such as state lotteries, and charity raffles.
  Smoking Manufacturers and distributors of tobacco products, as well as websites that promote their use.
  Drinking Restaurants and bars that primarily serve alcoholic drinks as well as websites that promote the use of alcohol.
  Alcoholic Products Manufacturers and distributors of products that contain alcohol. This category also contains websites that promote the use of alcohol.
  Agriculture Sites providing information about, or promoting, the agricultural industry. This includes farms, seeds, supplies, etc., as well as agricultural news.
  Architecture Architecture company websites, architectural news and review sites, sites supporting the architecture industry.
  Business & Commercial Sites that provide business-related overview, planning and strategy information.
  Home & Family Sites that deal with life issues and services including parenting, foster care, adoption, raising children, senior citizen related, etc.
  Law Sites for law firms, attorneys, legal resources and materials, news, etc. Does not include government websites and legal information provided by those governments.
  Life Events Sites that discuss or provide services for special life events such as marriage, divorce, bereavement, “coming of age” ceremonies (e.g. bar & bat mitzvah, shinbyu, Dawoodi Bohra, etc.).
  Miscellaneous Sites that provide business content, but cannot easily be classified in one of the other categories.
  Mobile Operators Sites that are owned by Mobile Operators. These sites include the
promotion, sale, or administration of mobile services.
  Photography & Film All photography companies, professional photographers, studios, filmmakers, cinematographers, and related companies, camera manufacturers, camera and equipment sales, and associated businesses.
  Private IP Addresses Internet Protocol addresses that are commonly used for home, office, and enterprise local area networks.
  Side Business Sites that provide information for careers. 
  Transport Services & Freight Sites of companies focused on providing cargo, freight and package transportation services, information related to the cargo and freight industry, news, etc.
  Unsupported URL Malformed URLs that are not valid and cannot resolve to a web server. For example, google  would be considered an unsupported URL
Commerce & Shopping    

Sites that allow bidding and selling of items and services. Does not include non-selling related advertising.

  Career Advancement Sites that provide information for careers and side business information. 
  Financial Products All aspects of personal and corporate finance are included here. Sites that provide price comparisons between financial products, and sites that report or comment on financial matters. 
  Insurance Businesses and commercial organizations that provide insurance, insurance information, and so forth, as well as sites that provide information related to insurance, the insurance industry, etc. 
  IT Online Shopping Any site that meets the following criteria is listed here, especially IT products. Sites that offer goods for sale, represent a non-online retailer, provides comparisons between goods, preferential purchase schemes. 
  Market Rates All aspects of personal and corporate finance are included here. Sites that provide price comparisons between financial products, and sites that report or comment on financial matters. 
  Online Trading Sites that discuss, promote, or enable the user to trade online. 
  Real Estate Sites that provide residential and commercial property sales and rental information, listings and services.
  Shopping or Retail Sites or order pages from which it is possible to purchase various products. Also includes websites of brick-and-mortar shops. 
  Sweepstakes or Prizes Information and sites concerning online or offline competition, money, or prizes that can be won by participants.
  Cryptocurrency Sites that enable, distribute, trade, mine, or promote cryptocurrencies.
  Weddings or Matrimony Information and sites concerning services offered by matchmaking agencies designed to introduce members of the opposite sex for the purpose of marriage.
  Local Communities

Sites for law firms, attorneys, legal resources and materials, news, etc. Does not include government websites and legal information provided by those governments.

  Education Colleges, universities, primary and secondary schools are all included here. Online educational resources, such as exam syllabuses and example questions, are also included. Support organizations such as admissions bodies and research councils.
  eLearning Includes online learning products, technologies, and services that promote online learning. Sites that are not associated with traditional education (e.g. grade schools, high schools, college/university) as described in the Education category, but provide online learning services.
  Reference Online encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauruses, atlases and other information resources available for research purposes all belong to this category.
  Science Sites focused on the various disciplines of science, research papers, companies and government agencies focused on scientific research and development.
  Sex Education Sites that discuss sex and sexuality in an informative and non-voyeuristic way. Topics that fall under this category include: education about human reproduction and contraception, advice on preventing infection from sexual diseases such as HIV, and advice to the LGB communities on sexual health matters.
  Art and Cultural Events Sites that promote or provide information about the Arts. These can include art galleries, art instruction, and art information, theater, symphonies, orchestras, operas, etc.
  Books or eBooks Sites promoting printed and eBook publications, as well as sites distributing these publications.
  Costume Play or Enjoyment Sites containing costume play content. 
  Dining or Gourmet All sites relating to restaurants (whether eat-in or takeaway) and pubs/bars. All recipes and cuisine related sites are listed in this category. Farms and other foodstuff manufacturers. 
  Downloads Any site whose primary function is to allow users to download media content except computer programs and mobile apps. This includes computer wallpaper, icons, fonts, etc. 
  Entertainer or Celebrity Sites that provide information about entertainers and famous people.
  Entertainment, Venues or Activities Cinema, live entertainment, entertainment venues, social venues, meeting places, party/event venues, amusement parks, comedy clubs, etc.
  Games Information about the sale of game software and hardware, game downloads, game cheat codes, or games in general. 
  Horoscope, Astrology, or Fortune Telling Sites that provide, or promote, horoscopes, fortune telling, astrology, etc.
  Museums & History Sites promoting museums, providing virtual online museums, historical information ,historical societies, and related clubs, etc.
  Music Sites that provide downloadable music data, music, and movie-related music. 
  Online games All sites relating to video, computer or online games. All sites that support gaming through hosting online services, cheat information, general advice etc.
  Online Magazines

Sites that provide online versions of magazines that cannot be easily classified in another category, or provide multiple online magazines that would individually be classified differently from one another.

  Pets or Veterinarian Websites for veterinarians, veterinarian clinics, animal adoption agencies, pet care, products and services for pets, information about pets, and news about pets. 
  Professional Sports Professional sport websites, except those related to gambling. 
  Recreation & Hobbies This category covers all activities or interests, other than sports, that someone might pursue for their own pleasure and not as a main occupation. This includes clubs and groups that pursue or meet for specific interests. 
  Social Networks in General This category contains social networking sites (SNS) focused on both personal and professional services that are not contained within other categories with more granular controls.
  Society & Culture Social organizations and cultural sites that are not related to local communities, business or philanthropy. These sites include societal and cultural views and create awareness about topics related to heritage, activism, and history in various ethnicities, countries or regions.
  Sports in general All sport websites - whether media-related or fan-related - are placed in this category, except those related to gambling.
  Streaming Media Any site whose primary function is to allow users to watch streaming media.
Health & Medicine    
  Medication Sites offering drugs (OTC or Prescription drugs) or common medicines, natural products, prescription medications, etc.
  Marijuana Sites offering information, discussion, and/or resale of marijuana and associated products and/or services.
  Health All sites related to personal health, hospitals, clinics, legally prescribed medication and related services.
  Grotesque It is not easy to define exactly what is offensive or tasteless. Sites included are not pornographic or violent, rather, more oriented towards content unsuitable for school children to view or that an employer would be uncomfortable with their staff accessing.
  Hate or Slander Sites promoting aggressive, degrading, or abusive opinions about any section of the population that could be identified by race, religion, gender, age, nationality, physical disability, economic situation, sexual preferences or any other lifestyle choice.
  Illegal Activities Sites that contain instructions, recipes, or advice on creating illegal items, such as explosives, or offer them for sale. Sites that give instruction on, advice about or promote of illegal acts.
  Illegal Drugs Sites that sell illegal/controlled substances, promote substance abuse, or sell related paraphernalia.
News & Information    
  Automotive Vehicle manufacturers, dealers and servicing are all covered by this category. Sites that allow traders or the general public to buy or sell vehicles. Clubs for specific manufacturers/models are applicable, as are discussion groups.
  Bulletin Boards Sites offering access to Usenet newsgroups or similar services, or any other discussion forum that doesn't fit well in another category.
  E-Mail Subscriptions Sites that allow users to register and cancel e-mail subscriptions, or provide mailing list services.
  Government All central and local government websites are applicable, as are related bodies and agencies.
  IT Bulletin Boards Sites offering access to PC newsgroups or similar services for IT, or any other discussion forum that doesn't fit well in another category.
  Military Sites belonging to official military organizations or containing information relevant to their activities.
  News Sites that report and deliver news, of interest to the general public, such as online news sites, printed or online newspapers, and current affairs sites (not focused exclusively on presenting entertainer news/gossip, etc.).  Sites focused on specific industry news (e.g. finance, travel, health, etc.) are listed in those specific categories. Sites focused on providing news, information, and/or gossip about celebrities and entertainers are listed under Entertainment.
  Politics Sites that provide political information.
  Popular Topics Information concerning matters and affairs that rapidly gain public attention.
  Special Events Information concerning special events.
  Violence or Suicide Any site that displays or promotes content related to violence against humans or animals is placed in this category, as are sites that advocate any means of harming oneself such as self-mutilation or euthanasia.
Online Communication    
  Instant Messages Services for downloading instant message software and other related information as well as client based instant messaging.
  Internet Telephony All sites that offer internet telephony/VoIP products and services.
  Web based chat Web-based chatrooms.
  Peer-to-Peer or Torrents All sites that facilitate the sharing of files using P2P software are placed in this category. This includes, but is not restricted to, sites that host P2P software and sites that allow users to search for files that can be downloaded using P2P software.
  Piracy & Copyright Theft Sites that are clearly distributing copyrighted material in violation of the copyrights.
  SMS & Mobile Telephony Services This category is used for sites that allow the creation or sending of SMS text messages. Sites that sell ringtones, games, videos, or other downloadable content.
  Web based Mail Any site offering web-based email services is placed in this category.
  Uncategorized Some domains are very new, and Barracuda Networks does not have enough information to categorize them at this time. When users visit these new domains, Barracuda Networks automatically initiates an internal work flow to categorize them.

Note that the URLs referring to brand new domains that are not yet categorized also tend to be malicious domains. Administrators must make careful choices to either allow or deny access to uncategorized domains based on their business concerns.

  Advertisements or Banners All advertising is placed in this category.
  BOT Phone Home Sites that are used by malware to receive information from the malware.
  Botnets Sites that are landing pages for botnets or are infected by botnets.
  Content Delivery Networks & Infrastructure Sites including CDN (Content Delivery Networks) or sites or hosts/servers that provide back end services or functions for sites that make the internet or network function. These can include DNS, gateways, and APIs.
  Hacking or Cracking Resources for the illegal or questionable use of computer hardware or software are included here. Sites that describe how to gain unauthorized access to systems and that distribute copyrighted material that has been cracked to bypass licensing.
  Infected Sites Sites that are infected with a virus or distribute viruses.
  Keyloggers Sites that distribute or promote the use of keyloggers.
  Malware Sites that may contain malware or promote the distribution of malware. These sites may be infected by a virus.
  Mobile Malware Mobile sites that include mobile malware distribution or that can infect your mobile device.
  Phishing Sites Sites that used in phishing attacks.
  Remote Proxies Any site that operates as a web proxy, allows access to software that can bypass web filtering, or offers guidance on how web filtering can be avoided is listed in this category.
  Remote Desktop Control Sites that enable or distribute remote desktop control software or services.
  SPAM URLs that typically are contained in spam messages and are associated with mischievous or unsolicited efforts.
  Spyware Sites hosting software that attempts to get hold of personal or secret information without the user's knowledge.
Social Media    
  Facebook This category contains social networking sites (SNS) focused on both personal and professional services that are not contained within other categories with more granular controls. 
  LinkedIn LinkedIn social networking site.
  Twitter Twitter social networking site.
  YouTube YouTube social networking and streaming media site.
  Instagram Instagram social networking and messaging site.
  Tumblr Tumblr social networking and media sharing site.
  Pinterest Pinterest social networking site. site.
  WordPress WordPress site.
Society & Lifestyle    
  Advocacy in general General information provided by webmasters to promote their opinion on a subject or topic.
  Associations/Trade Groups/Unions Professional associations, trade groups, and unions websites, and sites promoting these groups.
  Philanthropy & Non-Profit Organizations Sites that are, or provide services for, charities, non-profit organizations, foundations, trusts, fundraising events for non-profit and philanthropy organizations, and seeking donations.
  Recycling/Environment Sites that promote or provide information or services related to the environment, recycling and reuse of resources.
  Personal Web Pages/Blogs Any site that hosts personal pages created by an individual to contain content of a personal nature rather than a company, organization, institution, and so on. This category also contains personal blogs.
  Fashion & Beauty These sites are related to the Fashion and Beauty industry.  Pages with models, clothing, and the discussion of current trends in fashion are found here.
  Employment All employment agencies, recruitment consultancies and headhunters, contractors, and agencies assisting anyone seeking employment are placed here. All sites that allow job vacancies to be posted, offer career advice, describe how to get through interviews or prepare a CV/resume. Includes Human Resource services, outsourcing, training, and technology related to HR. 
  Kids Sites Sites that are safe for or of interest to kids. Kids sites may include games, educational portals, multimedia, and other sites that are of interest to children.
  Occult Information concerning supernatural phenomena that cannot be scientifically explained or measured.
  Religions Sites that relate to religion except for the traditional religions.
  Traditional Religions All sites that relate to traditional religious belief or skepticism.
  Computing & Internet All sites related to computer hardware and software - including sales. News and current trends regarding the computing industry or internet are also applicable. Professional bodies within the IT industry are included.
  DDNS Sites that provide Dynamic DNS service are listed here.
  Emoticons Sites that sell or provide emoticons.
  Hosting Sites Sites that provide hosting services for websites.
  Mobile App Stores Sites that sell applications for mobile consumption.
  Mobile Apps & Publishers Any site whose primary function is to allow users to download mobile apps and/or a company prompting their mobile app products.  This does not include Mobile App markets that provide a wide range of mobile apps from two or more vendors.
  No Content Active domains that return no content or no visible content. Does not include sites that are categorized as parked domains.
  Parked Domains Place holders for sites that have not been created yet or parked domains.
  Photo Search & Photo Sharing Sites Photo search and sharing sites that can include social aspects for clubs or other organizations to share information including schedules and forums. This category can also include image hosting sites.
  Program Downloads Any site whose primary function is to allow users to download computer programs (e.g. for PCs and Macintosh computers).  This does not include Mobile App markets, unless the site provides both computer and mobile apps.
  Ringtones Sites that sell or provide ringtones.
  Search Engines & Portals

All search engines, meta-search engines, web directories such as yellow pages, business directories, etc., as well as internet portals (e.g. sites that contain links to numerous different content types such as News, Sports, Games, etc., all within the same site).

  Search Engine Caches Sites that aggregate disparate information or allow users to search across large amounts of data.
  Storage Services Sites that provide hosting for storage services.
  Translators All sites that translate a web page from one language to another, or that transform the text contained within a web page.
  Public Agency Tourism

Sites that provide public travel information.

  Public Transit

Sites that provide public transit services and/or information about those services.


Sites that provide hotels and holiday rental accommodation information.

  Travel & Tourism Sites related to the following travel topics: listed travel agents, travel advice, timetable information, and car hire.
Violence & Weapons    
  Weapons Any site that sells weapons or ammunition or advocates the use of weapons. Sites of weapons manufacturers.
  Terrorism or Extremists Any site that promotes, instructs, or advocates terrorism or extremism.




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